A Light in the Darkness: Panerai Honors the Radiomir at Watches & Wonders 2023
The Italian watchmaker focuses on the future with the newest members of the Radiomir family, including a special model with a 40mm Goldtech case.
We don’t need to tell you that the world has changed in the last four years. So, it’s safe to say we’ve all had to pivot, and Panerai – once synonymous with big, macho watches – is no exception.
Panerai has made many good moves. For example, the brand was one of the first to recognize that for many enthusiasts, fostering an emotional connection to a watch is just as important as what’s on the spec sheet. As a result, Panerai actively encourages the growth of and participation in the Paneristi community. Plus, the brand is famous for facilitating real-life experiences for buyers to create lifelong memories, such as diving with Italian Navy frogmen.
However, perhaps more importantly, Panerai expanded its tent when it became one of the first watchmakers to offer smaller versions of its popular but oversized (read: 45mm+) sports watches. No joke, I still dream of the blue-dialed Luminor Due with a 38mm titanium case released in August 2019.
Well, at Watches & Wonders 2023, Panerai is again ahead of the game with a series of intriguing offerings from its Radiomir collection. Here’s an overview of these visions for the future.
The 40mm Radiomir Quaranta Goldtech
If you want to see the shape of things to come, look no further than the Radiomir Quaranta Goldtech (PAM01026) because not only does this minimalist military watch come in at a rational 40mm (down from the original Radiomir’s 47mm), but it’s also encased in polished Goldtech.
The Quaranta (Italian for “forty”) also features a white sun-brushed sandwich dial and comes on a matte brown alligator strap that is molto elegante. The watch’s case, which is 10.15mm thick, is also the slimmest in the entire Panerai range. The result is a sports-chic timepiece that’s suitable for all wrist sizes and occasions without making you feel self-conscious and readjusting your cuff.
The tech specs are just as reassuring. Water-resistant to 3 bar (~30 meters), the PAM01026, which lists for $18,200, is powered by the reliable P.900 calibre – a next-gen 4.2mm-thick automatic movement that is the first of its size from Panerai to combine the date and a three-day power reserve.
The 45mm Radiomir Annual Calendar
Featuring a new complication for Panerai and its legendary Radiomir collection is the new Radiomir Annual Calendar.
A calendar complication is technically tricky, especially when working with the Radiomir, a watch famous for its clear and immediate readability. So, to maximize legibility, the day and date are displayed at 3 o’clock through two dials openings. Meanwhile, the current month is indicated via a moving disc (located on the outer edge of the dial) and a fixed arrow at 3 o’clock.
All of these display mechanisms are powered by the automatic P.9010/AC calibre, which only needs to be reset once a year at the end of February.
The coolest thing is how, despite the addition of annual calendar indications, the distinguishing signatures of the maison, such as its cushion-shaped case, signature gradient sun-brushed sandwich dial filled with Super-LumiNova, and cone-shaped crown, are undisturbed while establishing new codes, like writing the months, days, and name of the complication (“Calendario Annuale”) in Italian.
Finally, you’ll have a choice between two versions of the Radiomir Annual Calendar: The first model, the PAM01363, lists for $39,200 and features a 45mm polished Goldtech case, a blue sun-brushed dial, and a dark blue alligator leather strap.
The second one, the PAM01432, features a 45mm polished Platinumtech case, a burgundy sun-brushed dial, and a black alligator leather strap. The PAM01432 is also an Experience edition, so it is considerably more expensive, listing for $88,100. However, only people who purchase this watch can participate in an unexpected Roman adventure that will further immerse them in the values of the maison.
The 45mm Radiomir Otto Giorni
With each timepiece featuring a 45mm eSteel case, the new Radiomir Otto Giorni is a modern reinterpretation of the legendary Radiomir collection, emphasizing authenticity and storytelling.
Hand-finished one at a time to give it a “seasoned” look, the Otto Giorni’s case has a distinctly vintage feel. Moreover, this weathering process – done via PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) – gives each Otto Giorni a unique look.
Meanwhile, its two dial options, dégradé brown (PAM01347) and dégradé blue (PAM01348), only enhance the visual appeal of the Otto Giorni’s retro spirit. These grainy dial finishes recall how some historic Radiomirs changed color over time due to the anodization process used on aluminum dials. And to match the lived-in feeling of the Otto Giorni, each watch is presented on a supple calf leather strap that color-matches the dial.
Finally, the hand-wound P.5000 calibre drives an eight-day (or “otto giorni” in Italian) power reserve, a distinctive element that was vital for the Panerai pieces used by underwater commandos of the Italian Navy. Both versions of the Radiomir Otto Giorni list for $9,700.
The 45mm Radiomir California
Last but certainly not least, the Radiomir California (PAM01349) marks the first time Panerai has produced its classic California dial in 45mm (instead of 47mm).
Inspired by the Ref. 3646 from the brand’s archives, Panerai’s California dials feature a minute track running along the case edge, alternating Roman and Arabic numerals, and bar indices. That means that on the new Radiomir California, the 1, 2, 10, and 11 o’clock hour markers are Roman numerals; the 4, 5, 7, and 8 o’clock hour markers are Arabic numerals; the 3, 6, 9 o’clock hour markers are bar indices; and the 12 o’clock hour marker is an inverted triangle.
Finally, listing for $12,300 and powered by the hand-wound P.5000 calibre discussed above, the new Radiomir California comes in a hand-finished Brunito eSteel (another first for Panerai) and sports the same weathered look as the Otto Giorni, resulting in a combination of material and size that showcases the Radiomir’s characteristic antiquated look.